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To Vote or Not to Vote: Is that really the question?

By Jon Painter and Sydney Meyer
On November 6, 2018

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Today The Campus looks at the top excuses for abstaining from voting as well as the top reasons why these excuses are lame.

Why not to vote:

  1. Your vote doesn’t matter.
    In the presidential elections the Electoral College determines the winner of the election not the popular vote. Voting thus becomes a seemingly meaningless exercise while state electors determine the next President of the United States.
  2. Where to vote?
    Many students at Ottawa University are from out of town. Should they vote in the Kansas election or should they vote for their hometown candidates? It is difficult to find motivation to weigh in on issues while living so far out of state.
  3. There’s not a candidate worthy of my vote.
    Voting for one candidate is like picking one evil over another. Who can voters vote for with a clear conscience? There is widespread skepticism of those in Washington D.C. While one candidate may support the same ideals, this candidate may also be backed by large donors of whom citizens have their qualms about. Voting is not as simple as supporting a favorite sports team; voting seems to require our morality to be laid out on the line, a line which is often blurry.
  4. Politics is like science and science is hard.
    Politics is complex and gives citizens the appearance of incessant obfuscating to prevent the other party from succeeding. It is easier to abstain from the mudslinging than to pick a side and get muddy. While one may be belittled for recusing themselves from politics and the voting process, one still is able to hold onto their pride and individuality by refraining from joining those who do vote.

Why you should vote:

  1. It’s your civic duty.
    Ring a bell? Your forefathers fought hard to create a place where you would have a say. If everyone took the “My vote doesn’t matter” mindset and abstained, there would be no democracy.
  2. Didn’t vote? Can’t complain.
    We all like to complain about the state of our nation. It’s kind of a requirement at this point. But are you really going to complain about something you had an opportunity to influence? Are you going to sit there groaning about the way things are when you passed up on an opportunity to make things better?
  3. You want to make a difference, don’t you?
    You’re given a tangible method to make a change, and that’s what we all really want, isn’t it? You’ve been given this incredible opportunity to determine your own political fate, and you want to waste it? Other countries are champing at the bit for this opportunity.
  4. Make your grandparents proud.
    How do you feel when your grandparents ask you who you’re voting for? What do you do? Stare at the ground and shrug? Does it spark an argument? Do they stare at you incredulously, wondering why you are throwing away a privilege their generation fought so hard for? Do you really want to contribute to the millenial stereotype -- the one that says we don’t care about anything that isn’t directly applicable to us?
  5. Excuses, excuses.
    Anything that keeps you from voting is just an excuse. Though voting may be flawed and the system does have faults, the opportunity to vote is something that should be taken advantage, no matter what obstacles have to be overcome.

Remember how privileged we are to live in a country where we have the ability to vote, whether you take advantage of the opportunity or not.  

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